Hulu has inked an agreement worth $1.43 billion with AT&T Inc for buying back its shares owned by the wireless carrier, a move that values the U.S. entertainment streaming service at $15 billion, the two companies said on Monday.
Walt Disney Co, holder of 60 percent stake in Hulu through a joint venture, will get more control of Hulu after in-cash deal of selling AT&T’s 9.5 percent stake in the company.
NBCUniversal of Comcast Corp is holder of 30 percent stake in Hulu via joint venture agreement, and part of the agreemnt Disney and Comcast will mutually decide the allocation of share bought back from AT&T.
Hulu rivals Amazon.com’s Prime Video and Netflix Inc in streaming video service market and holds more than 25 million subscribers but expected to be making a loss of $1.5 billion in the current fiscal year.
Time Warner, now a part of AT&T, in 2016 had buy the stake in Hulu, which increased its total value that was reportedly $5.8 billion at that time, while Netflix’s market capitalization at the time was about $41 billion, which is risen to $152 billion based on its stock’s closing price on Monday.
AT&T, without disclosing further details, said that its unit WarnerMedia will continue delivering content over the Hulu’s platform. AT&T is also in later this plans of launching its own subscription based streaming video service.
As Hulu offer its customers all in one place for the best content over live or on demand TV services, so WarnerMedia will remain its valued partner in coming years, Hulu Chief Executive Officer Randy Freer said in a statement.
The proceeds so received by AT&T from the deal will be utilized to lessen the debt, said AT&T, which was under debt of $176.5 billion at the end of last year.
AT&T and Hulu said that the transaction, which was signed and closed simultaneously, was not subject to approval from any regulatory or other third-part.